It has been nearly a decade since you could travel across the Atlantic in three hours on the Concorde but the subsequent downfall of the first commercial supersonic jet hasn’t deterred engineers from dreaming up future versions of jets that could circle the world in five hours.
According to CNN, two different supersonic jet designs were unveiled at the Paris Air show this week with EADS, parent company of Airbus, showing off a version that would use biofuel and emit no emissions and another by Hyper Mach that would be able to fly twice as fast as the famous Concorde.
Hyper Mach CEO Richard Lugg said the plane would make “the other side of the world feel like it’s just down the road.”…
Lugg says the jet will reach speeds of up to Mach 3.6 — twice the speed of Concorde — and fly at 18,300 meters, high enough for passengers to see the curvature of the earth.
It also promises reduced emissions and low noise. New technology means it will not create the “sonic boom” its predecessor was known for.
While both planes are merely conceptualizations for now, Hyper Mach believes it can have a plane ready in ten years while Airbus’ version wouldn’t be ready until 2050.
As the article notes, supersonic travel has been possible for quite some time but due to high costs it has never been able to replace traditional commercial air travel where planes generally fly just under 600 mph. Both company’s have provided intriguing designs but neither has yet to prove that costs can be kept low enough to entice airlines, or passengers, to bite.